New Edition of Business.2020 with special Focus on Standards for Business and Biodiversity

The spring 2012 edition of Business.2020, which is published by the Convention on Biological Diversity, shows some over-arching pieces looking at the function of standards, some examples of standards developed by independent "standard-setting” bodies, and some examples of standards developed by individual companies.

Montreal, 8 June 2012: This edition also looks at the role of standards as they relate to green procurement and its potential implications for businesses. In all of these cases, while the standards examine similar topics and have a respectable degree of rigor, companies have to find the right fit for their needs given the plethora of options.
How can standards help organisations to support the CBD?
In their article Marion Hammerl, Global Nature Fund, and Anne-Marie Warris, Lloyd’s Register, provide a short simple set of actions to take into account and to minimize companies' impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. It ranges from understanding the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services  to deciding where to mitigate companies' impacts and initiate action plans to monitoring and reviewing progress.

Creating a level playing field
"Effective standards can greatly assist in efforts to engage business in the effective and profitable protection of biodiversity. In their absence, efforts may be reduced to a series of ad-hoc measures defying objective measurement, creating uncertainties which could thus undermine the willingness of companies to participate in these activities", said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in his preface. "In engaging with business, the crux of our activities must be to help create a "level-playing field” where companies can compete without fear that efforts to act sustainably will put them at a disadvantage. This is where the power of standards comes into play. Standards allow companies to benchmark their progress and activities against established guidelines that other businesses must (or should) follow. However, even for voluntary standards, increasing levels of consumer pressure is compelling companies to follow these guidelines. In many sectors, from seafood through wood products or cosmetics to mining, consumers are demanding that companies follow sustainable procedures and principles. Those failing to react to these pressures may be punished by the market, he added.

Further articles are

The new edition of the CBD newsletter Business.2020 can be downloaded here.

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A Simple Explanation of Business & Biodiversity!

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